Same sex couples react to Supreme Court decision

By Chad Weber

June 26, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- "We think this is just a big giant leap forward," said Donna O'Crowly, who has been in a same sex relationship for 37 years.

For same sex couples in Central Illinois, the Supreme Court rulings brought renewed hope.

"It makes your heart happy," said Peggy Burton. "You think oh, we are getting closer to being equal. Not different, just equal."

The rulings mean if same sex marriage were to be passed in Illinois, the federal government would recognize it as marriage, therefore allowing federal benefits that come with it.

For Hector Martinez, it would mean the opportunity to be covered under his partner's insurance plan.

"I'm very excited because right now as a full time employee I don't have any health insurance," said Martinez. I have to currently work at my place for five years before they provide me with any insurance."

For Donna O'Crowly and Peggy Burton, it means peace of mind in the future.

"We have to go through a lot of contortions to make sure our property will be passed to each other without tax consequences," said Peggy Burton.

Proponents for same sex marriage said they are confident it will be passed soon in the state of Illinois.

"I understand that I could go someplace else and get married," said Martinez, "but my hope is that here in Illinois I can get married one day and have all the benefits that married couples get."